Steve Bruce reveals how close Newcastle United's Joe White came to making his debut against Manchester United

Joe White was denied his Newcastle United debut by a Bruno Fernandes strike at Old Trafford.

The highly-rated midfielder was named on the bench for Saturday’s game against Manchester United – and Steve Bruce was considering sending the midfielder as his side trailed 2-1.

However, Fernandes’s 80th-minute strike all but ended any hopes of a comeback. The home side added another in added time to win 4-1.

Asked if he had considered handing White his debut, Bruce told NUFC TV: "Yeah, yeah. We were just at 2-1 thinking ‘how do we change?’. And ‘can we be a bigger threat?’. The third goal is the kick in the teeth, isn’t it. After that, it went away.”

Joe White in action in pre-season.


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White – who joined Newcastle from hometown club Carlisle United five years ago – had impressed during the club’s pre-season campaign.

Speaking after a 2-0 win over Burton Albion in July, head coach Bruce said: “He caught the eye, didn’t he?

"We brought him up about 18 months ago before Covid, and he quietly impressed us. And, all of a sudden, they grow all of a sudden, and find a yard of pace, and look bigger and stronger. And he’s certainly done that.

"Over the last couple of games in particular, I’ve been very, very pleased with what I’ve seen.


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"Well done to him. The good thing is pre-season’s given me a chance to see him in a game. He can be really pleased with himself. He catches everybody’s eye with his strength, physicality – and the way he handles the ball.”

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